The BRICS countries are seen as challenging the existing world order. In the US-dominated Western world, BRICS is sometimes seen as a response to an Eastern bloc that can stand against NATO. However, BRICS and NATO are fundamentally different. BRICS is based on economic cooperation and coordination of emerging economies, whereas, NATO is a perfect military alliance of the US and its European allies.
Comparing BRICS and NATO on the same parameters would not give a clear picture of these organisations. They are different and have different objectives, and functioning. Let’s understand how BRICS and NATO are different.
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What is BRICS?
BRICS is a group of major emerging economies for economic, political and cultural cooperation. The full form of BRICS is Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. South Africa is the latest country to join BRICS in 2010. However, many other developing countries such as Iran, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are looking to join BRICS. This expansion of BRICS has given rise to speculation of it challenging the US and NATO.
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What is NATO?
Formed in 1949, after the second world war, NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance. The full form of NATO is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. NATO was formed by selling the idea of collective security by the US among its allies. The member countries of NATO include US, Canada, the UK, and several European countries. In total, there are 31 members of NATO, and Finland is the latest country to join it.
NATO vs BRICS Comparision – Overview
|Type of organisation
|Economic, political and cultural cooperation
|Total number of countries
|954.55 million (13% of world population)
|3.21 billion (45% of world population)
|45% of world GDP
|31.5 percent of the global GDP
|USA, Germany, France, UK, Poland
|China, India, Brazil
NATO Vs BRICS: Who is stronger?
As you can see, NATO and BRICS were formed with different objectives. So, for them to stand against each other in military confrontation would be against their primary goals. However, if we compare NATO and BRICS in military terms, NATO certainly has an edge as it is led by the United States. The military strength of the USA alone can overpower the countries of BRICS. Other than the USA, France, the UK, Germany and Poland are highly capable. In the BRICS countries, China, Russia and India are the only countries with significant military capabilities.
BRICS vs NATO – Comparison of GDP
In terms of GDP too, NATO is much ahead of BRICS. The combined GDP of NATO is at around $32.4 trillion which is roughly 45% of world GDP. Whereas, BRICS’s GDP is around 31.5 percent of the global GDP. The NATO economies are led by the USA, followed by Germany, France and UK. The economies of BRICS are fast-growing. Countries like China, India, South Africa and Russia are considered the next powerhouse economies.
NATO vs BRICS Comparision – Population
The population of BRICS is much more than NATO countries. The world’s largest population countries India, China, and Brazil are part of BRICS. This huge population provides these countries with cheap labour and a big workforce driving their economies. In total, BRICS countries account for 42% of the world’s population.
In comparison, NATO only accounts for 13% of the world population. Its population is roughly 954.55 million.